Shaping Future Support is a new government green paper
What is a green paper?
A green paper is the first step in making a new law or policy
The government shares its ideas and the public tell them what they think
Shaping Future Support is about:
- Looking at how the benefits system can meet the needs of disabled people
- Build a system that helps people to live independently and move into work
- If money is currently well spent to make sure the system works well and can keep working in the future.
This page is about what Learning Disability England members thought about the green paper
We talked to members in 3 different sessions.
Some organisations sent us their responses.
Here are some of the headlines from members
Members agreed that the benefits system needs to be made simpler. One family member talked about their experience,
“I’m tired of endless summonses to be reassessed by DWP, when you have to travel miles, produce piles of forms and papers and when you get there your assessor says to you, I really don’t know why they sent you here. It’s ridiculous. That was my son’s last assessment. And I thought, what is this costing in human terms, for my son, for me, but also for the government, all the people that are processing things”
The benefits system shouldn’t make people so stressed and anxious.
We talked about some simple things the government could do quickly to make it simpler.
For example, making forms and assessments more accessible.
Members felt big changes need to happen. Some felt consultations like this make big changes difficult, one member said,
“When we take part in consultations, we feel like we have to answer their questions, like ‘what do you think of ESA?’ but we just want to say it’s all rubbish, it all doesn’t work. We are restricted by their questions and ideas.’
Some members think the government needs to have bigger ideas and think about the bigger picture too.
After years of cuts members think the government needs to invest in people, communities, and systems.
Members think a cultural change is needed where we value the contributions of people with learning disabilities and have expectations for what they can achieve.
Without this people wont be able to have good quality, long term, meaningful jobs.
There are some short term changes members talked about:
People talked about finding Job Centre staff pushy, rude, and aggressive. People felt they were being pushed into roles they didn’t want.
They want staff to be better at working with disabled people and finding meaningful jobs.
They would like to see the government give more funding to programmes to get people into work.
Members think if the government don’t make these changes, ‘pushing’ people into work is just ‘setting them up to fail’.
We have heard a lot of these key messages before in our work on the future of social care.